Pierce county Washington has been home to one of the worlds best kept secrets for years. This coming weekend that secret with be brought to glorious light. LeMay: America’s Car Museum will be opening its doors to the public for the first time this coming Saturday, June 2nd.
For those that have purchased tickets to what will be one of the biggest grand openings of 2012, Friday night, June 1st will start with three different parties. “The Great Gatsby” dinner party will be a black-tie event amidst cars of the 20′s… think big long Duesenberg’s. A sock hop with a fifties theme will be for those that want to swing dance amidst tri-5 Chevy’s and there will be a costume party for those that are fans of motor sport. Saturday and Sunday will host the first tours of the museum which will display historic electric and alternative fuel cars and of course there will be a massive car show out on the 3.5 acre field.
Designed after the hood of nothing less than a car, America’s Car Museum (ACM) sits across the street from the Tacoma Dome and just feet from an I-5 exit ramp. This 165,000 square foot masterpiece will house as many as 500 cars at a time… 500 cars of a collection that at one time amassed over 3,400 vehicles. Needless to stay that exhibits will be an ever changing experience. Home to state of art race car simulators, a restaurant, and even a drive-in theater, ACM is well equipped to spread what is America’s love affair with the automobile.
The museum has been named in honor of Harold LeMay, a man that lived the true American dream. A simpleton at heart, Harold started his own company in the early 1900′s, hauling away people’s trash on the back of his Model T pickup. Now, in the next century, nearly every garbage can on the street has Lemay scrawled across the side. Had I amassed a fortune hauling refuse as Harold did, I would have done the exact same thing – collect massive amounts of automobiles. The Harold LeMay collection holds a Guinness world record for the largest privately owned car collection, a collection that has been open to the public for years but not widely known.
Until now, the museum has been well hidden amidst the towering evergreens of western Washington. Housed in a a smattering of warehouses and old military buildings of the Marymount academy, the LeMay collection truly was a diamond in the rough.
As a volunteer for ACM, I’ll be manning the race simulator on Saturday and will bring footage of the car show and museum interior later in the week. Having visited the old museum several times, words cannot describe how impressive this collection is. Every car has a story, as the museum would say and I couldn’t agree more. With so many cars in the collection there are many stories to be told. All the more reason to return again and again to what should be on everyones to-do list and one of the worlds premier museums.
Plan your next vacation to the Great Northwest, go to a Mariners game, go deep sea fishing if you must, but make sure that you make it to LeMay: America’s Car Museum.
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